Where to Begin – The essay

Where to Begin – The essay

A dissertation is an academic paper presenting a particular scholarly subject or issue, discusses the various avenues of thought on the subject or issue, and finally argues the student’s own thoughts and position, substantiated by factual evidence or credible arguments. Dissertations, generally, are judged on the thoroughness of the topic exploration and upon the originality of the student’s thoughts and position on the topic. The process, however, begins with another document: the essay statement.

An essay is Not a Dissertation

It is important to note the fundamental difference between an essay and a dissertation. The essay is akin to the asking of a question and a summary response to the question. A dissertation is an extended presentation of the essay and the evidence or logic used to reach the position stated in the essay. So many people erroneously use “essay” and “dissertation” interchangeably; dictionaries have begun to include the definition of a dissertation as one of several meanings for the word “essay.”

Exactly What is an essay?

An essay is a hypoessay or conjecture on a topic, typically presenting an original viewpoint or approach to an issue or subject and laying the foundational work for the production of a full dissertation later. It is generally one to five pages in length, providing sufficient information for the topic to be judged by its merits and potential viability as a dissertation subject.

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